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NASCAR's Mission to Cultivate Longevity in Los Angeles Starts with Local Youth

The day after winning the 2022 NASCAR Championship in Phoenix, AZ, Joey Logano made a trip farther west to spend time sharing his passion and childhood dreams with elementary students at the Boys and Girls Club of Venice Beach.

Joey Logano poses with Boys and Girls Club Venice and 2022 Championship Trophy
Joey Logano (back, center) poses with elementary students at Boys and Girls Club of Venice, CA. November 7, 2022

Logano held the Championship trophy in his arms, reminiscent of his ‘show-and-tell’ days as a kid when he would show off his race winning trophies to his classmates. He answered every question the children had with patience and a huge smile on his face.

“Everybody has their thing that they’re passionate about and mine was that I just loved cars, I loved driving things and it made me unique in school but, it's what I loved. I’m glad I kept chasing that dream,” Logano said. “It's a cool thing to tell these kids here that whatever it is, try to be the best at it. Whatever you choose to be, if you’re really, really good at it, you can do really well in life.”

The following morning, before heading back home for the off season he revisited The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum where he won the first trophy of the year.

Joey Logano looks down at grassy field of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
Joey Logano revisits The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum November 8, 2022

NASCAR has a partnership with the Boys and Girls Club of America and has developed strong relationships with the clubs of Venice, Los Angeles-Metro, and Carson. A likely answer to the conundrum of influencing diverse interest in NASCAR within city limits where the sport hasn’t physically been as accessible, especially amongst urban youth.

Looking down at a grassy football field, it's almost hard to believe a NASCAR racetrack existed in that space less than a year ago and will reappear in February.

In the centennial celebration of a hallowed ground of Los Angeles sports, NASCAR will return for a second Busch Light Clash at the Coliseum to kick off the 75th anniversary of the sanctioning body’s inception.

Jeremy Casperson leads Boys and Girls Cub high school students of Los Angeles on educational tour of the track being built inside of Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum January 21, 2023

Jeremy Casperson, Director of Civil Engineering at NASCAR, is overseeing the construction of the quarter-mile marvel. Paving began on January 4, followed by the installation of safer barriers borrowed from tracks in neighboring cities, Auto Club Speedway (Fontana) and the Long Beach Grand Prix. Final preparations for the track are expected to begin the first week of February as Cup car teams arrive.

“We’re NASCAR. We don’t do anything slow.” he said.

On Saturday Casperson took his time however, offering science, technology, engineering and mathematics education to a group of high schoolers from the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Los Angeles and Carson, who are currently designing racetracks at their respective club locations.

Jeremy Casperson and Boys and Girls Club students analyze track temperature. January 21, 2023

After he led them along an immersive tour through the stands and onto the track where painters applied fresh layers of paint to the safer barriers for February's race, Matt Humphrey, Director of Track Communications at NASCAR, acted as teacher's aid, taking the group on a track-walk atop of, as he put it, “asphalt as its curing beneath their feet.”

Humphrey expressed that Saturday’s opportunity opened up a world of different disciplines and possibilities to explore so that the kids understand that they don’t just have to be a driver to participate in NASCAR.

“We’re trying to open up their eyes on all the different careers that exist at NASCAR. Not just on the engineering side, the construction side or being a driver or a crew member, but what about marketing? What about communications? What about media? What about graphic design?” Humphrey said. “There are hundreds of different disciplines that are required in order to put one race car on a racetrack.”

Students taking turns to sit in driver's seat of Busch Light Clash at the Coliseum promotional Chevrolet Camaro. January 21, 2023

At the end of the tour, students asked NASCAR executives questions about the upcoming race and discussed their career goals before enjoying a lunch provided by NASCAR.

The students were elated when surprised with a parting gift of free tickets for them to bring their families to the upcoming Busch Light Clash at the Coliseum on February 5.

Without tangible history like a permanent track to race within the Los Angeles city limits, creativity and cultivating the right relationships with new stakeholders becomes imperative. Places like the L.A. Motordrome, Legion Ascot Speedway, Culver City Speedway, Mines Field Speedway, Riverside International Raceway, Ontario Motor Speedway, and Ascot Park (Los Angeles Speedway) are on the long list of what’s known amongst Angelenos as “Lost” Angeles.

By making these impactful investments of time and attention to the next generation, NASCAR is demonstrating hope for longevity in a place where the trend to demolish architectural treasures acutely exists.

With Auto Club Speedway at a distance in San Bernardino, NASCAR’s innovative Busch Light Clash at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum format might be its best – and last – hope to revive and preserve the sport in the heart of the city.


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